Priscilla 2011 – Broadway – Day 8

Favourite moment of the day has to be a story related by Tony Sheldon.  Meeting the new Benjis (the 7 year old) can be tricky – usually we introduce them at tech/dress time, and the way the costumes look onstage isn’t always how they look in the wing.  You might have some makeup on, a wig cap, a corset, heels and a dressing gown.  It can be confusing for the boys as to what species an actor is, let alone gender.  Tony, who plays Bernadette, a very glamourous woman of a certain age, hadn’t met Ashton yet.  The costume he was prepared for, when the moment came around, was “Shake Your Groove Thing”.  Let me describe; a cheerleader outfit, heightened, with a pom-pom headdress and oversized runner boots.  But this isn’t how Tony starts the day, he has to underdress the skirt because of a quick change, so is wearing a full face of makeup, a turban with blonde hair spilling out, and a pair of his own rundown brown loafers to walk up to stage comfortably.  Tony spies Ashton and thinks – hmm…not the best look, but best to get the greeting done.  He strides forward manfully, shakes Ashton’s hand firmly and says “G’day mate, I’m Tony.”  Ashton’s eyes widen, he looks Tony up and down and says;

“You’re not wearing those shoes with that outfit, are you?”

Out of the mouths of fashionista babes.

Many people think life in the theatre is exciting and glamorous.  That’s what our publicists are paid to make it look like.  For anyone who wishes to be cured of this, sitting through tech rehearsals as you spend an hour refining one lighting cue would be the perfect treatment.  Utterly crucial for a show that may not be looked at this intensely again, nevertheless the painstaking work is…well…pain-causing.

Our unflappable production manager, David, had done some remarkable work with the FOY rig today – making a cue up that takes the Divas in circles for the first time (a dream of Simon’s from Day 1 of Priscilla).  We haven’t seen it with the girls yet, but that’s something to look forward to tomorrow.  Something else to look forward to tomorrow would be the temperature outside rising.  It is so cold outside you feel like you’re being sprayed with a firehose whenever you leave a building.

There is one continuing source of amusement in tech.  Whenever you work on a sequence for a long time, say and hour, suddenly a time will come when you’ll just miraculously continue on into the next one.  Of course, the people involved in the next will have given up focus ages before, and suddenly come sprinting out onstage looking like guests at a hotel that have been woken by the fire alarm.

Published by bryantandfrank

Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank make musicals. And other things.

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